Bill Robinson reports from Wheatsheaf Park……
Thurrock arrived at Wheatsheaf Park in a positive mood despite the recent set back on Tuesday evening, with four wins and two draws before that Thurrock were third in the current form table a remarkable turn-a-round since the new management team arrived.
When the match started we only had 27 seconds on the clock before Staines went ahead, the ball was played out wide to the left where Alex Duffy collected and drove in a low cross towards the near post, with Richard Butler closing in it was Thurrock’s Liam Harwood that got there first but he could not stop the ball hitting the back of the net.
With the high winds at there backs Thurrock steadily regained their composure after that early set back and began to play football unlike there recent visit to Woking when the ball rarely touched the ground.
Jamie Richards came close on twenty five minutes when he let fly with a powerful right footed shot from 25 yards out but his aim was wide and never troubled keeper Louis Wells.
The game continued to be played out mainly in the middle third with little chances being created by either team to trouble the score line.
Lee Flynn sent a power drive free kick just over the bar on 27 minutes and this was the start of a Thurrock purple patch when they mounted a number of attacks on the Staines goal.
Then on 39 minutes Matt Bodkin finally got the Thurrock equaliser, the move started with the ball being sent out wide on the right to Joao Carlos, he beat one defender and then threaded his pass neatly passed the Staines defence and into the penalty box where Jamie Richards collected the ball, he took the ball to the by line and sent in a low cross just perfect for Bodkin to run onto and blast home from 5 yards out.
Whilst no more goals came in the second half the game continued to be entertaining but few genuine chances to score were created. Both keepers were only kept busy with back passes and goal kicks.
Thurrock’s TJ Sie, Jamie Richards and Joao Carlos always looked dangerous on the break but they could not find that elusive shot that would take all the points.
Staines came close on 72 minutes when Andre Scarlett hit a free kick towards the top corner of Thurrock’s goal, Keeper Joe Woolley had to finger tip the ball over for a corner, and Staines continued the pressure and won a second corner.
Staines then seemed to settle for the draw and this allowed Thurrock room to push forward and try to sneak a winner, unfortunately it never came and both teams shared the spoils.
Thurrock: Joe Woolley, Craig Pope, Lee Flynn, Rob Swaine, Liam Harwood, Kenny Clark, Matt Bodkin, TJ Sie, Jamie Richards, Paul Olima,Joao Carlos.
Subs:Lee Hodges, David Knight, Shane Scanlon, Dean Cacknell, Jo Flack